Scum - _Gospels for the Sick_
(Tabu Recordings, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (
It really shouldn't surprise anyone that Scum's debut sounds just a tad confused. Billed as a meeting of black metal and punk rock, and boasting an arsenal of talent that features no less than half of the orignal Emperor line-up and Casey Chaos of Amen, the contents on _Gospels for the Sick_ does fit the PR description almost perfectly. Unfortunately though, for as many times as it is likely to make your jaw drop and spontaneously flash a handful of the horns, Scum's debut can sound distinctly uneven and patched together, as though the band members' disparate skills have been left to function in seclusion rather than synergy. When it all comes together though, the songs do work beautifully, with the crusty production -- not unlike recent Darkthrone efforts -- lavishing an added sense of grim, anarchic energy on the proceedings. Thing is, not every track on _Gospels for the Sick_ quite hits the heights of the title track or the rollicking "Backstabbers Go to Heaven", and while it's easy to forgive amateurs for such a lack of consistency, the creative calibre in this outfit really should be capable of a whole lot more.
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